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Your guide to using the Brooklyn Nets in NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18 is the NBA. The NBA is the NBA, but gamer Bryan Fonseca has spent HOURS researching this story on what to expect from the game when YOU sit down.

If you’re here, chances are, you’re a Brooklyn Nets fan (or a Cleveland Cavaliers fan checking on your draft pick). If you’re a gamer, you’re likely going to purchase NBA 2K18 at some point ... if you haven’t already.

So you may have seen a bunch of Nets related 2K posts on Twitter over the last couple of days, and that is why we’re here. We’re going to guide you through it.

First, let’s start at the extent in which I used the Nets. I tested them out on the All-Star and Superstar levels over the course of three full games with 10 minute quarters. Your boy isn’t ready for ‘Hall of Fame’ difficulty yet.

The opponents were some of the softer teams in the NBA: The New York Knicks at Barclays, the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, and at the Dallas Mavericks, before one final game hosting the Boston Celtics, who are alleged contenders.

Instant takeaways:

  • Soon as you get the game, the defacto starting line-up is: D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Timofey Mozgov.
  • Your bench order is Jeremy Lin, Trevor Booker, Caris LeVert, Isaiah Whitehead, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, Sean Kilpatrick and Jarrett Allen. Tyler Zeller and Quincy Acy are 14 and 15, therefore are inactive.

The starting lineup that I ran had Lin and Russell in the backcourt, Crabbe or Carroll at the 3 (Carroll worked better for me as the starter, though, they and LeVert played roughly the same amount), Hollis-Jefferson and Mozgov at the 4 and 5.

After playing out the sample size of games, here are my observations and ultimate takeaways:

They’re collectively one of the worst teams in the game... by the numbers

  • The Nets are 29th of the 30 active teams in the ratings, only ahead of the Sacramento Kings. On defense, they’re slightly better at 27th, ahead of the Phoenix Suns, Knicks and Lakers in that order. On offense they’re 28th, only ahead of the Orlando Magic and Kings.

Individually, they’re not great, but pretty balanced, young and deep

  • Russell has the highest overall on the team at 80, and the best potential at 86, by far. Jeremy Lin follows, just two points below with a 78 overall. However, LeVert’s potential is the second best on the team at 80. The rookie, Allen, is down at a 72 overall with a 78 potential. Here’s the full team’s individual overall and potential ratings below.
  • Russell: 80 overall, 86 potential
  • Lin: 78, 79
  • Booker: 76, 79
  • LeVert: 75, 80
  • Hollis-Jefferson: 75, 79
  • Crabbe 75, 78
  • Carroll: 75, 78
  • Mozgov: 74, 77
  • Kilpatrick: 74, 77
  • Whitehead: 73, 77
  • Dinwiddie: 73, 75
  • Zeller: 73, 75
  • Allen: 72, 78
  • Acy: 72, 74
  • Harris: 72, 72

Jeremy Lin can still make contested lay-ups in his sleep

  • His shot close rating is an 88, with layups ranging from 75-80. Beat your man off the dribble and attack. Attack. Attack. You don’t always have to finish either, use that inside-out attack.

Russell and Lin backcourt is a virtual success … on offense

  • I’ve said from day one that this could be dynamic. So far, it is, at least in the world of 2K. I am and will be starting them together. I prefer Russell’s jumper and Lin’s driving ability. I find it slightly better to drive-and-kick with Lin-to-Russell as opposed to the inverse. Defensively, Lin is slightly better, but neither are great. Russell’s on-ball I.Q defense is a 64, which is the same for his pick-and-roll D. His help defense is a 59, his steal rating is a 73, but the consistency is only a 35. Lin’s on-ball defensive I.Q. is a 71, and his pick-and-roll is also a 64. Help defense is at a 72, consistency at 55, and steal rating is a 69.

Jarrett Allen is your best rebounder

  • Trevor Booker is still really good, but pretty much every game that Allen would come in, I’d look up after five minutes and he’d have two points with five or six boards. His rebound ratings are in the mid-to-high 70s, but his reach is incredible. Also blocks shots, and does this.

Caris LeVert is much better to use, and thank God, it looks like him

Hollis-Jefferson’s jumper is “broken”

  • While playing the game, color commentator Clark Kellogg calls Rondae’s jumper “broken” in the game, and well, at least in the virtual world, he’s right. Hollis-Jefferson’s jumper in 2K isn’t the easiest code to crack. His shot from close range is a 63, which for a power forward is problematic. At mid-range, his open rating is at a decent 71, but contested and off the dribble are in the high 50s. From downtown, his best mark is a 57 while open, which plummets to a 26 (the lowest possible rating is a 25) while contested or off the dribble. You can attack with him, though. His standing layup is at a strong 80, the same as his standing dunk. His ability to draw fouls is a 72, and his free throw shot is a solid 75.

Dinwiddie is good for you, bad for them

  • If you use Dinwiddie as your back-up point guard, it’s going to be a pain in the butt for the other team, especially if their guy isn’t, you know, 6’6”. Considering that his overall rating is a 73, he’s still one of the more well-balanced players on your roster, and could be a nightmare for the other team off the bench. He’s deadly from mid-range (88 when open, 84 off the dribble), solid from deep (82 when open, 78 when contested and 75 off the dribble) and is very attack friendly (75 on layups, and 79 on free throws). His passing accuracy is at 75, his vision at 70 and I.Q. at 66, making him your third best passer. All of his speed ratings reside in the low-80s and high 70s marks, and defensively, he’s serviceable, especially with the size advantage.

You will enjoy The Church of MozGod

  • ...because he baptizes everybody. From five feet in, he’s your guy. I can’t even tell you how many bodies the dude catches off of low post dumps and offensive rebounds. Just get near the rim and you’ll get yourself a poster. His standing dunk rating is at an 88. You don’t need any more context. Just know that Lonzo Ball and Nerlens Noel got it.

Your best defender is Carroll, and your best shooter is Crabbe

  • If you manage to get them open, Crabbe and Carroll could both be knockdown shooters on your drive and kicks. Crabbe has the best three-point shot on the team, which is an 88 when open and an 81 when contested. Carroll isn’t far behind at 82 when open, and he’s also your best all-around defender, which is why I started him. Carroll’s on-ball defensive I.Q. is at a 78, on pick-and-rolls he’s a 77, he’s an outstanding 84 on help defense, and an 80 on defensive consistency.

Trevor Booker could still get you double doubles

  • His shot close is an 89, his defensive rating is an 86, and his hustle sits at a team-best 95. Need I say more?

Finding time for ‘The Cyclone’

  • His rating is only a 73, and once you get passed Russell, Lin, Crabbe and LeVert, it gets hard to organize consistent minutes for the guards. You’ll probably have plenty of Dinwiddie + Whitehead line-ups. Whitehead’s shot close is a 78, which largely sandwiches him among most of his teammates. His mid-range touch ranges from a 64-to-68, and he’s slightly better from three, 72-to-74. His 81 on free throws and low-to-mid 70’s on layups makes him another good attack option, and his passing accuracy is at a 75, so you can drive and kick if you have to. Oh, and be smart about using ‘The Cyclone’, but definitely use it. When it works, it works.

Fetching for four

  • Depending on how you run your squad, it might be hard to find minutes for Kilpatrick, Harris, Acy, and Zeller. Kilpatrick and Harris still remain two of the best shooters on the roster, Zeller is one of the best low post scorers you have, and Acy is pretty well-balanced, though he’s not really exceptional at anything in the game.

And that’s pretty much the Nets 2K rundown. Use it, have fun, and build your way towards a championship.

As for me, I’ll be practicing some more, because a bunch of you sent out challenges already.

Back to the grind.